Cam Newton was benched to start the 'Sunday Night Football' game and his backup threw an interception on the first play

The Carolina Panthers shocked everybody at the start of their “Sunday Night Football” game against the Seattle Seahawks when Cam Newton did not start and it appears to have been for disciplinary reasons.

With the Panthers taking the opening kickoff, long-time Panthers backup Derek Anderson took the field instead of Newton. Sure enough, on his first play, he rolled out to the right and his pass bounced off the hands of his receiver and was intercepted.

The NBC announcers were unaware of the switch and had no idea why Anderson started. However, they speculated that “something happened” and there is some indication that the move was disciplinary.

Several reports indicated that the radio broadcast for the Panthers said Newton was benched from some unspecified rules infraction.

According to Lindsay Jones of USA Today, confirmed that the move was not injury related and that it was simply the decision of head coach Ron Rivera.

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